A LONG-serving landlord is retiring from his popular pub for the second time and has sold it to a regular.

Mike Leonard and his wife Audrey have run the Dun Cow in Old Elvet, Durham, for 12 of the last 14 years.

Now approaching 65, Mr Leonard, who was the communications manager of the County Durham Ambulance Service for several years plans to spend more time in the garden.

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The new mine hosts from tomorrow (Tuesday, April 8) are Jill Carey and her partner Bill Sanders who are longstanding Dun Cow customers.

Mr Leonard said: “We came here in 2000. We thought we wanted to retire in 2004 and sold it - and then we bought it back in 2006.

“It is not everybody that has owned the same pub twice.

“When we sold it, we really missed it and the people that bought it realised after a couple of years that tt wasn’t for them.

“We decided we wanted another business because we were bored stiff, so we bought back the business that we knew.”

The Dun Cow is one of a handful of distinctive characterful pubs in the city that is renowned for its real ale, cosy atmosphere and lack of television, music or meals. “Bill has been a customer here for over 30 years so there isn’t a lot that will change. He wants to keep the pub the way it is because he has drunk here all of his life and wants to carry on drinking here,”said Mr Leonard.

Mr Sanders, who runs a financial services business said his partner would be the new licensee and he would be helping out.

“When we heard it was up for sale we thought we would give it a go. It is what we call a proper pub.”